Happy Christmas

So once again it’s time to wish all three readers of this blog* a very happy Christmas and New Year and to remind myself that it’s time to program my new PVR build with lots timers to record Christmas telly, and a reminder to extend the validity date on my OpenPGP key before the end of the year.

* Readership figure may be grossly exaggerated

Project PVR (Part 3)

So, just the remote control to do now.   A few weeks ago, I bought an FLIRC USB dongle and a One For All remote control, which can work as a Microsoft Media Center (sic) remote if you use the code 1272 on it.  Configuring the FLIRC device was pretty much as simple as plugging the dongle into a USB port and running the supplied software on it (I used the Windows version, but there is also a Linux version too). Continue reading

Cakewalk RIP

Very sad today to see an announcement that Gibson Brands is shutting Cakewalk down with immediate effect.  I’ve been using Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 and SONAR 1 all the way through to SONAR Platinum since something like 2001.  A real shame.   At the time of writing, there appears to be no indication of whether the Cakewalk products are going or likely to be sold.

Update: As of now, no news on what’s going to happen to the Cakewalk products, but I’m not convinced it’s a good idea to wait to see, so I’ve decided to crossgrade to Cubase 9.5 Pro – just waiting for the sales team at Cakewalk to verify my eligibility, and then I can order it.  They have a special offer on at the moment at £248 inc VAT which isn’t an outrageous price.  And you’d hope that with Steinberg being owned by Yamaha that they aren’t going to just suddenly drop what is probably the oldest DAW in the world at the drop of a hat.

Project PVR

Hopefully soon all the parts should arrive for the latest of my little projects, building my own DVB-T (Freeview) & DVB-T2 (Freeview HD) Personal Video Recorder (PVR).  So far I have in my hand the Noctua CPU cooler, which on its own won’t record TV programmes very well, and the rest is (at the time of writing) due to be delivered early next week. Continue reading

Who invented Brexit?

Today I went to visit the Museum of London, which is just round the corner from the Barbican.  What I was actually there for was to see a bit of the BT Connected Earth collection, of which there was a small part there including a K2 phone box, a few old mobile phones and a line card from the UK’s first ever digital exchange to enter service, called the Empress (because it was installed at the Empress trunk exchange in London, having been developed by the GPO Dollis Hill research centre in the 1960s).

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Review: A5 Dunstable Northern Bypass

Never one to shy away from an exciting review, in this article I’ll be describing the thrills and spills of doing the speed limit down one of Bedfordshire’s newest trunk roads, the highway formerly known as the A5-M1 Link Road. but is now just called the A5 after the old road south of the start point was handed to Central Bedfordshire UA and Hertfordshire County Council and renamed to A505/A5183.  Apart from being a road, it has one purpose, and that’s avoiding Dunstable (and who would want to argue with that?)  The road opened in the summer, but this is the first excuse I’ve had to drive it, which promised to take me all the way to M1.

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For those of you that read my last article, you’ll know that I had to turn the power management off on the PCI slots to make my sound card work properly.  Well tonight I’ve been comparing the new WASAPI drivers vs the ASIO drivers on my RME HDSP9632 sound card using SONAR Platinum, and the effective latency results were quite surprising:

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